A Look at Austin Butler and Vanessa Hudgens' Sweet and Endlessly Supportive Romance

Together for almost eight years, the actors have been for each other through major highs and lows and have come out stronger on the other side

By Natalie Finn Aug 17, 2019 10:00 AMTags
Vanessa Hudgens, Austin ButlerMarion Curtis/StarPix for Focus Features/Shutterstock

When Austin Butler beat out the rest of young, full-lipped Hollywood to land the role of Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann's upcoming biopic, you could almost hear Vanessa Hudgens' excitement radiating from Instagram.


That's pretty darn sweet, but she was only returning the favor.

"It's hard for me to even put into words what that girl means to me. I am so inspired by her everyday and I just love her to my core," Butler gushed to E! News about Hudgens at the premiere of Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood in July.

And that was on his red carpet, where he was nice enough to answer our question but wouldn't have been faulted if he had just wanted to talk about his movie. (Side note: he's unrecognizable as Manson Family member Charles "Tex" Watson and Butler is great in the part.)

But that's just how these two have been rolling for eight years now.

Celeb Couples Who Were Over-the-Top Cute on Social This Week

"We both respect, trust and admire each other," Hudgens shared with Women's Health in 2018 about her enduring relationship—which she knows is a rarity among the young Hollywood set. "It's so solid now because I feel strong as an independent woman. I am very self-reliant, but it's nice to have a best friend you can share victories with as well as losses."

And Butler "inspires me more than anyone," she added.

Those are certainly some key elements of any built-to-last partnership, as is their disinterest in rushing things along. Which, having been dating since 2011, surely comes up from time to time.

"I want to get married, travel, then have kids—probably in my late 30s," Hudgens, who turned 30 in December, noted. "Everyone's clock is different."


Butler, who's celebrating his 28th birthday Saturday, is presumably setting his own watch by Hudgens' clock. But he's years ahead of the pack in other regards.

"It's important to put that other person first," the former Carrie Diaries star told ET in 2015, "and if you're constantly looking for ways that you can make them happy and they're constantly looking for ways that they can make you happy, then you kind of lift each other up as much as possible—and you can't go wrong, I don't think."

So far, his theory has held fast.

And the pair, who've had their personal and career ups and downs like anybody, have needed to lift each other up in the years they've been together, particularly when they each lost a parent to cancer, Butler's mother in 2014 and Hudgens' father in 2016.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Premiere

Hudgens revealed her dad's diagnosis in August 2015 when she won Breakthrough Performance at the Industry Dance Awards, telling the audience, "Last year, my boyfriend, Austin, lost his mom, Lori, to cancer, and my dad has just been recently diagnosed with stage four cancer. Let me tell you, I hate cancer. I hate cancer with every cell of my being. This award, it means a lot to me but I dedicate it to my boyfriend's mom, Lori, my dad, and to all the families out there who are struggling with this, because it really takes a strong person and a strong family to be able to help those out who are going through this."

Butler was right by her side when her dad died, as well, and they had each other—and each other's families—to help them battle through the worst of times.

Inevitably, they're also all the more appreciative of the best times.


Hudgens' thrill for Butler's latest role mirrors the social media support he has always sent her way (when he's not in the middle of a year-long Twitter-and-Instagram break, as he was for most of 2018), such as when he tweeted her praises throughout her turn as Rizzo in Grease Live! in 2016.

The musically minded actress has been ubiquitous at the various festivities for Butler's latest movies, Jim Jarmusch's The Dead Don't Die, which premiered in New York in June, and his latest, Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood. Hudgens was his date at the L.A. premiere and at a benefit dinner he and co-star Margo Robbie co-hosted for the Australian charity Youngcare last month.

Recently the couple were enjoying some R&R on the isle of Sardinia, and Hudgens waited until they returned home to fill anybody in (though their appearance at the UNICEF Summer Gala in Porto Cervo may have tipped people off that they were in Italy).

"Sorry I've been m.i.a, but taking time away to appreciate nature and unplugging is so important," she wrote. "But I'm back. With a ton of Italian pics lol." 

She and Butler have many a hard drives' worth of pictures by now, some taken on vacation, some just hanging around the house with their dog Darla, and in honor of Butler's birthday here's a sampling of some of their sweetest moments:

Birthday Love

The actress posted this cute pic of the two on the actor's 28th birthday in August 2019.

So Cute

The actress plays with her beau's hair.


Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler had matching hair colors after Butler went brunette for a role.

Shirtless Smooches

When Hudgens wished the actor a happy birthday this year, she shared this sweet, smoochy snap. Awww!

Cute and Candid

The High School Musical star felt like this candid moment was too adorable not to share, and we agree!

Sweethearts in Shades

These two had a blast at the beach together this summer.

Broadway Babes

After Butler wrapped his role in The Iceman Cometh on Broadway, his lady love was there to offer some cute congratulations.

Sweet and Supportive

When the show opened in April, Hudgens was also there to shower her beau with love and support.

Magical Moments

In January, the two enjoyed a fancy night out getting at The Magic Castle and of course they were dressed to impress.

New Year, New Memories

After ringing in the start of 2018 together, Hudgens shared this precious pic of herself and Butler all dressed up.

Tender Touches

This couple looks so good together in this selfie that we can't help but smile when we look at them!

Birthday Bash Bliss

The lovebirds got cozy with wine in hand while celebrating Stella Hudgens' birthday last year.

Happy in the Hills

The two just radiated happiness in this post for Butler's birthday in 2017.


What's not to love about these two?

Under the Tuscan Sun

The precious pair looked like they had quite a romantic getaway during their summer 2016 trip to Italy.


Butler and Hudgens look so cute here...they're even rocking almost identical hairdos!

Safari Chic

Hudgens described these playful pouts as "safari chic" while on vacation in 2015.

Wild Cats (Get Your Head in the Game)

They may have seen a lion in real life, but these two only have eyes for each other.

Smiles and Sunsets

The precious pair was picture perfect in front of the setting sun back in 2015.

Birthday Blessings

Hudgens shared this sweet shot—and an even sweeter message—in honor of her main man's 23rd birthday.

Next up for Hudgens is the crime thriller Bad Boys for Life with Will Smith and The Knight Before Christmas (which we're gonna go ahead and assume is a rom-com) for Netflix.

And Butler is going to have to start practicing his hip swivel and lip curl. No doubt his partner in everything will be his No. 1 fan.